From: ILPI Support <info**At_Symbol_Here**>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Requirements for Schlenk lines
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2016 07:21:47 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: C5579BD0-F90E-4989-816E-BC0330FE90C4**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <86DD80BD-8BC2-4953-A66A-C9C0908354B2**At_Symbol_Here**>

6 foot hood, hahahahhaha, good one!  The only hoods every available to me when I was a professor were 3, maybe 4 foot tops.  Hopefully that falls by the wayside as new buildings are built, but for many schools, they'll be using those for years to come.  And adding 6 foots hoods to almost any facility is prohibitively expensive.

Yes, there are alternatives like James suggest and it's a great reminder of the first thing we do in mitigating risk - look for alternatives.   However. the discussion was about a rule without exceptions.  I am speaking from a PI's perspective here.  For someone doing true high-vac type work (swivel frits, high vacuum), a dry box is not a suitable alternative.  And for routine tasks like stripping solvent from air-sensitive material, it is not only huge overkill, it is also hideously expensive in comparison. A Schlenk line is $1,000 to $2,000 fully equipped.  A mid-range dry box with a regenerating train and whatnot is well over $20K, well out of the reach of those with meager grant support.

The Safety Office / PI relationship is ideally a partnership, and it is critical to have input from PI's who have extensive experience before imposing a rule that serves to inhibit the researcher.  My opinion is that  a no exceptions policy would be viewed as as exceedingly adversarial by those in my research community, and that's not the way to foster a good relationship.


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On Apr 27, 2016, at 10:27 PM, James Saccardo <James.Saccardo**At_Symbol_Here**CSI.CUNY.EDU> wrote:

A 6 foot hood should be plenty large enough for any Schlenk set up. Sometimes a researcher may have to come to terms that their lab space is not equipped to do certain type of work. What are the barriers to installing a hood (assuming that is why they want to run this outside of one)? If a hood is not possible, can a dry box/environmental chamber be considered for purchase ( admittedly these are several thousand dollars - think start funding, fiscal year surplus).

I don't disagree with Rob's comments. I would add, if you decide to take that route, a decommission date so that it does not become a permanent fixture or persistent hazard.
Be well,
James Saccardo, CHMM
Sent from my iPad

On Apr 27, 2016, at 2:53 PM, ILPI Support <support**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM> wrote:

IMHO an ironclad rule like that is counterproductive.  Most research laboratories have limited hood space, and forcing someone to put a vacuum line into a hood might force something else out that really should be in there.  In addition, vacuum and Schlenk lines come in varying lengths, and you might be forcing a researcher to buy a shorter and less capable line in the interest of enforcing such a rule.  Work in hoods can also be cramped, and contorting oneself or equipment to fit could possibly contribute to accidents.

Instead, let common sense work here.  Lines should be in a hood when practical, yes.  But if they can't be, then you need to set up some best practices for when they are located outside a hood.  This includes any number of guidelines such as 1) venting all bubblers, vacuum pumps and traps to a hood, 2) putting up a sliding safety shield to protect the worker from implosions and explosions, 3) establishing a list of procedures/materials/properties that should not be manipulated outside a hood, 4) banning the use of mercury manometers etc. etc..  Except for a the first two items, this is really the same considerations we apply to whether any reaction should be run a hood or not.

Anyone with a John Bercaw-style (Caltech) line that measures 8 feet long by 4 feet wide (or more!) sitting in the middle of their lab space probably has an ample set of safety Schlenk/high vac line guidelines that would be worth sharing.

Rob Toreki

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On Apr 26, 2016, at 1:11 PM, Lisa Phillips <bognar.6**At_Symbol_Here**ND.EDU> wrote:

Trying to get information regarding safe practices and Schlenk line use.

  1. Do you require Schlenk lines to always be set up in a hood?
At your institutions do you require all Schlenk lines to set up in hoods?

If not, when do you allow them outside of the hood

Lisa Bognar Phillips, CHMM, CCHO
Laboratory Compliance Program Manager
University Biosafety Officer
University of Notre Dame
636 Grace Hall
Notre Dame, Indiana 46556
Phone: 574-631-5037

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